Bobby Van Jaarsveld is one of the most popular Afrikaans pop stars in the country. He has been dominating the local music industry ever since he released his debut album Duisend Ure back in 2006. To date, he has released four studio albums and a greatest hits record. Earlier this year, he appeared as a coach on the popular reality show The Voice South Africa, which introduced the star to a wider audience than ever before. To celebrate, he released an English single titled ‘It’s Always Been You’. After the success of his first English single, Bobby went into the studio to start work on his first English album – and it drops this October!
The first single off the upcoming record is a track called ‘H.O.L.Y.’, a song originally made famous by American country group Florida Georgia Line. The song made its debut on radio stations around the country earlier this week and the response has been phenomenal. The song is a mix of adult contemporary, pop and country and shows us a side of Bobby we’ve never seen before. Bobby admits that when he first heard the track, it touched his soul. “I really related to the song and I had to record my own version of the song,” he says.
The singer also reveals that after creeping into the hearts of many South Africans after appearing on The Voice South Africa, he was inundated by requests to release an English album – and he has given his fans exactly that. “Afrikaans is my mother tongue and I perform well in it, but I have always been influenced by the major international English hits,” Bobby tells me. “Funnily enough, our song writing process starts in English and we land up translating the song into Afrikaans. Naturally, after The Voice South Africa, where I was exposed to the broader South African market, it was a natural step to release an English album. This has always been one of my dreams!”
So, what can we expect on the album? Well, Bobby says that the album will be filled with “a combination of loving ballads, thought-provoking songs, a cover or two and a few hot hits to keep your feet happy”. The singer has worked in collaboration with some talented local songwriters and promises to deliver some of his best work to date. I’m really excited about the direction Bobby has chosen to take and I’m looking forward to hearing what he has in store for us with the album.
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